Tag Archives: athletic

Idle Ironman

28 Mar

Idle Ironman

The OKC YMCAs are doing an Ironman Triathlon during the month of March. They’re calling it the Idle Ironman, and you just have to complete the full Ironman distance (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and 26.2 mile run) over the 31 days of March. Having completed a sprint triathlon last fall I thought it might be kind of fun and a good challenge, so I signed up. It probably wasn’t my smartest plan since for the first two weeks of the month I was busy preparing to leave town and out of town. Sure I had grand plans of squeezing in some workouts while I was in Texas at SXSW (ya right), but that didn’t really happen.

So I returned from Texas with just over two weeks of March left and well over half of my distance to go. Eek!

I’ve been working hard these past two weeks, and as of last night I’m down to 2 miles of swimming, 39 miles of biking, and just 6 miles of running left. I’d feel a little better if I had a mile of swimming knocked out already, but I’ve got a plan and I’m determined to finish in the four days I’ve got left.

If you’re looking for me this weekend I’ll probably be at the gym.

28th: 1 mi swim, 13 mi bike, 3 mi run
29th: 3 mi run, 13 mi bike
30th: 1 mi swim, 13 mi bike
31st: Hopefully I’m done and can go home and relax after rowing practice! If I’m not I’ll just finish up.

Courtside

13 Feb

Sometime last fall Nate, the lucky duck, won courtside tickets to a Thunder game through a work drawing. He got to pick which game and we ended up going to one against the Golden State Warriors on January 17. Another coworker also won a pair and ended up picking the same game, so we had a good time courtside with him and his wife.

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Neither of us had sat courtside before, so we were both super excited. I didn’t know it but courtside comes with dinner at either of the two courtside restaurants (the Courtside Club or the Courtside Pub). I wanted to go to the Club because I’d heard it was fancier, but the line was long and not moving, so we checked out the Pub and got right in! The buffet line had lots of tasty pub food including bread pudding which is a recent favorite dessert of mine.

The game was fantastic. Nate couldn’t have picked a better one. Thunder won and KD scored an all time high 54 points. Nate was sitting on the edge and got a good 10 seconds of face time on tv during a free throw. I was not as famous, but my dad texted me a few pictures when he caught glimpses of us. All in all it was a super fun time, and anyone trying to get rid of courtside tickets let me know. I know some people who can put them to good use!

NateandSommerCourtside

I’m not going to pretend like this is any sort of fashion blog, but I’d been planning my courtside appropriate Thunder outfit since back in November, and I’m pretty proud of the Thunder colored ensemble I put together. So if you’re in the market for something similar: H&M Short Blazer in blue and JCPenney Worthington Pleated Front tank top in Zydeco Red.

Happy 2014 and New Year Goals

3 Jan

I am generally not a resolution maker. I think I’ve made them occasionally, but they never really pan out. I’ve been thinking a lot the past few days about good goals to have though. Things that are a bit more short term, and not crazy ambitious and probably unreachable like hitting the gym 3 times a week or cutting a bad food from my diet for the entire year. So here are my ideas for January…if they go well I’ll renew them for February or adjust accordingly.

Fitness: I’ve had a Fitbit for a year, and I love it and wear it every day. My Fitbit goal is set to get 10,000 steps a day which working a desk job can be hard and probably only happens once or twice a week (if that). Fitbit is doing a January challenge and setting small weekly goals. I figured why not follow along with them and give that a try. Also a longer term goal: this year I would like to do another triathlon or if that doesn’t pan out I’d like to run a 5K race.

Healthy eating: Nate got me some sweet new Bento Box accessories for Christmas, so goal is to make use of them and pack some really tasty lunches this month.

Reading: I’m going to read two books this month. Maybe more! I love reading I just never do it enough.

Creativity: Finish a project or two. I’ve got a painting project, an ornament project, a couple crochet projects, and probably other things I’m not thinking of. So there is plenty to do!

That’s probably good for this month. Did you set any resolutions or goals this week?

Goal of Doing a Triathlon – Complete!

10 Oct

A few Sunday’s ago Nate and I headed to Norman to do our first triathlon. There are some things in my life that I look back on like my first 5K race. I’m glad I did it, but I have a lot more negative than good feelings for it. Thankfully this tri was not like that.

Saturday I gathered up all my gear and laid it out. I was pretty nervous so it was nice to plan out what was going on my person when I left in the morning, and how I would set up my transition area. I tried to go to bed early that night, but that didn’t go so well and I ended up laying in bed for a couple of hours just thinking of things to remember to do while I raced.

TriPrep

The next day we arrived in Norman around 5:45 a.m., checked our bikes into the transition area (where you change your gear from swim/bike and bike/run) and then checked ourselves in, got our timing bands, and got our numbers and age marked on our bodies. Everyone I talked to and asked for tips from the entire morning was super nice. I stopped a couple of people who looked like seasoned triathletes and asked if people wore their flip-flops to the pool or just went barefoot. (No one wears their flip-flops to the pool.)

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They offered a swim warm up from 6-7 a.m. before the pre-race meeting at 7:15. I originally didn’t plan to warm up because I don’t do a big swim warm up and I didn’t want to be wet and cold. But one of the lifeguards made a comment, “Aren’t you going to warm up?”, and I decided why not. However when I had to hop out and wait 45 minutes to start my race in a cold gym I wished I’d skipped the warm up. I’ll remember for next time.

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This race included a snake swim in a pool (up and down the lane, cross under the rope, up and down the lane, etc.), and they’d start a racer every 15 seconds. When you register they ask for your expected swim time so they can line you up accordingly and hopefully minimize passing. I had been wondering all along how they’d get us all in line according to our swim time. Turns out your race number is what number you are in line to start! Number 87 worked out just fine for me (Nate was 111). I was pretty nervous at my start, and on the recommendation of a lady in line next to me tried to make a shallow entry into the water so time wasn’t wasted swimming back up to the surface, but I ended up nearly belly flopping. I swam pretty smoothly though passing two people (nearly passed a third on the last lap), and no one passed me. The timing mat  you had to cross to stop your swim time was down the hall and out the door, so my swim time was longer on paper, but pretty spot on for what I hoped.

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My first transition (taking off cap and goggles, putting on race number, shoes, gloves, helmet, and hopping on my bike) I was a little slow on. I see why people practice changing between things! Thankfully I didn’t forget anything and headed out.

The bike course aside from a few hills, one GIANT hill, and some wind was great. They had lots of volunteers directing you which way to go, and they were even smiling and cheering participants on which always motivates me. When the wind was at my back (or anyway other than straight on really) I felt awesome and pedaled hard. Nate and I crossed paths when he was probably 1/2 a mile from the turn around and I was 1/2 a mile past it. I just gave him a thumbs up. I had a few people pass me on the bike, but thanks to the age markings on their calves I know they were all old (40-60), so I was OK with that and impressed with them! The other part I remember best from the bike was going back up the GIANT hill. It was awesome coming down, and I even tried to make myself aerodynamic like the pros do to gain a little, but going up was rough. When I was nearly to the top there were a few spectators and one goes, “You’re almost to the top, and it’s flat when you get there!” Thanks guy that was some good motivation!bike3

Coming back into the transition from the bike is an insane feeling on your legs. I’d heard that it was, so several times after a bike workout at the gym I’d hop on the treadmill and run a mile or so. At the gym it was never a big deal, so I know I was pushing harder on the bike that day. When I got off and tried to jog my legs were like jello, and I decided walking for a bit was probably a good idea. I changed shoes, abandoned my bike gear, and jogged out of the transition as Nate wheeled his bike in.bike5The weather was absolutely fantastic that day and I really hoped the adrenaline and everything would push me to a slightly faster run time than I’d been pounding out at the gym every week. But it was not to be. I’m much better at running than I was 4 months ago, but I’ve still got plenty of room to improve. The run was tough. Nate caught up to me 1/2 a K in, and I ran with him for a bit, but slowed down to a walk again pretty quickly. People of all ages passed me, and I let them and just focused on getting myself to the finish. I walked a whole lot more than I’d hoped to, but in the end my run split was right on with my training times, so I can’t be too upset. The best part was coming around that last corner. I looked up and saw the finish line and just knew that I had to give it everything I had left. There were some volunteers that saw me pick up my pace and cheered at me to pass the guy I was gaining on. I passed him and cheered him on. Right after I passed him I got a little concerned that I couldn’t hold my pace to the finish line, but I somehow managed to and crossed the line. I even remembered to give a little smile for the camera!

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And that was that! I finished in just under an hour and 39 minutes (Nate finished in 1:23:25). I was happy and really tired. Surprisingly my muscles only felt tired and never got sore in the days following. I still feel incredibly proud of myself for being prepared enough to finish a triathlon! It’s been a goal for a while, but I didn’t seriously know if I’d ever be able to check it off the list. Now I’m looking forward to doing another one. I’ll definitely consider the Tie-Dye Tri again because it was very well-organized (zero complaints) and a great tri for a first timer.

NateSommer
Finished in 1:38:52
57th out of 96 women
15th out of 22 in women age 25-29

Total: 1:38:52
Swim: 9:47 Swim place: 21
T1: 3:27 T1 place: 84
Bike: 48:18 Bike place: 53
T2: 2:11 T2 place: 78
Run: 35:08 Run place: 65

Tips if you’re going to do a tri:

  • Practice the going under the ropes part of the snake swim.
  • Invest in a tri suit or something that you can swim, bike and run in without changing. I found one for $25 on steepandcheap.com. Some people wore their swim suits the whole time, but I’ve run in mine before and knew that wouldn’t be comfortable for me. Once you get your race outfit try it out before the race to make sure it’s comfortable to compete in.
  • Have a good pair of running shoes.
  • Practice at least doing the full bike and run distances all in one go before the race. If you’re not a strong swimmer you might go ahead and practice all three.
  • Time your swim, so you have an accurate time for the registration. I worried that people would fib and I’d get stuck behind people who exaggerated their swim time, but at least for this race the people around me did a good job.
  • I was also worried about passing people on the swim, but it wasn’t too crowded, and I didn’t have a problem. I’d tap them on the foot as we got close to the wall, and then flip turn off the wall ahead of the person I was passing.
  • If you have concerns or questions do some research. There are tons of tips for beginning triathletes lists and forums where someone has probably already asked your question. My big awkward question was, do I wear underwear? People in forums overwhelmingly say no.
  • A smaller tri might be a good fit for your first. The Tie-Dye Tri was capped at 300 participants. It wasn’t too crowded, and I didn’t have to worry about things like having trouble finding my bike in the transition.

Things for me to remember for next time:

  • Bring a throw away water bottle to have before the swim.
  • Race number belt. They make a belt that holds your race number so you can clip it to your body after the swim rather than trying to pin your number on with shaking hands.
  • Take it easy on the gummy energy. They’re probably entirely unnecessary for a sprint tri, but the ones I had tasted good. However you’re supposed to drink a lot of water while eating them, and by the end of the race I’d had a couple too many gummies and not enough water which caused a bit of a tummy ache.
  • Skip the swim warmup.

OGE Night Sprints 2013

8 Oct

RowersatPractice

The corporate rowing team I’m on wrapped up their fall season in October. The Night Sprints regatta is my favorite of the two races, and this year didn’t disappoint. The weather people had been predicting severe weather for that Friday night so I think a lot of people were worried about that and maybe some spectators didn’t come because of it, but it turned out just right. It was a tad windy, but the temperature was perfect and the rain held off until a couple hours after the racing was over!

Typically we race in the co-ed category (no more than 4 men in your boat), but this season we put together an all women’s team. I know I had a ton of fun and hopefully they all did too!

We only had one other boat in our race which was great because it meant no qualifying heat just the final race. They had a time trial of 2:03 and ours was 2:23, so we were at a 20 second disadvantage.

We all put everything we had into the race on the small chance that we might pull off a win. I know we were falling behind for a portion of the race because our cox (the girl in the boat yelling at us to go faster) at one point stopped updating us on where we were compared to the other boat. The whole race goes by so fast, but the main thing was we all pushed hard until the end and none of us caught a crab, lost our seat or messed up.

It was all so close at the end though that our cox had us row until the buzzer for both teams sounded, and I really thought we might have come in second. People were cheering and we finally yelled to some spectators on shore who they thought had won. They said you did!!

Winning our Race

The other team is the boat with white shirts in photos 2-4.

Turns out at the very very end of the race the other team caught a huge crab and died, and we pulled off the win.

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Gold medals and a trophy for the team!

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Triathlon Training

28 Aug

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I signed up today, so I’m officially participating in the Tie-Dye Tri. It’s been a goal of mine since high school to do a triathlon, and hopefully on September 15th I’ll be able to check that off the list.

Back in May I found a really good deal on a tri suit and that sort of started the ball rolling. Nate found the Tie-Dye Tri and a training plan and suggested we try for it.

I have to admit I’ve been following the above training plan pretty roughly. It’s not an easy thing to go from 1 to 2 gym visits a week to 6. I’m there 3 to 4 days a week and generally take the weekends off. I realize now the extra distances on the weekend are there to push you past the the minimum requirement, so next time I’ll have to work to incorporate some longer runs and bikes.

It’s been so helpful to have my gym buddies Elena and Kaylee at the gym with me a time or two each week. While they’re not training for a tri it’s nice to have a friend to motivate you to make it to the gym. If there’s a next time I’ll have to talk someone who’s a member at the Y like I am to train too. I feel like that would really bump the enjoyment level of training up several notches!

A local celebrity who’s done lots of triathlons posted some of her times, and I copied them down a while back as good goals. She is obviously a much stronger runner than me, but it’s something to shoot for.

Her times:

Total Time: 1:21:18
Swim: 9:43
Bike: 43:40
Run: 25:50 (8:38 pace)

My goals:

Total time: 1:32:50Swim: 9:20
Bike: 45:00
Run: 34:00

I guess I’m feeling pretty good that my body will make it to the finish line, because the two concerns on my mind lately have been goggles breaking and getting a flat tire.

So that’s that. If you have any tri tips or even tips specific to one of the three legs I’ll gladly take them!

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Rowing Season #10

1 Jul

This past Saturday was the Stars and Stripes River Festival. My team did really awesome. We took 2nd in our heat (time of 1:56.07) moving us on to the finals which is pretty exciting. Sadly we were ranked 4th going in and we stayed that way (1:56.64), so no medals this season.

Rowing2013Spring

There were more people out to watch and participate in the spring corporate regatta festivities than I’d ever seen. It was a great atmosphere and turned out to be pretty fantastic weather as the sun went down. They’ve just installed permanent stadium lighting along the course, and at sunset they held a little ceremony and turned the lights on for racing for the first time.

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Nate and I rode the Downtown Discovery bus over from downtown to avoid the parking mess, and while we were waiting for the ride back to the car at 10 p.m. there were STILL people arriving to catch the fireworks show. OKC is pretty awesome.

Roller Derby Weekend

18 Jun

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My cousin and some of her family were in town this weekend for her roller derby bout. She’s been doing roller derby for two and a half years, and since she was coming with her team from Lubbock to have a bout with one of the OKC teams it was a great opportunity for me to experience my first roller derby and see her skating.

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The rules seem fairly simple four blockers from each team are on the track and they try to block the other team’s jammer (there’s just one jammer for each team) from getting by. Each opposing team blocker that the jammer gets by is a point scored. There are of course other rules about going out of bounds and hitting people in areas of the body that are off limits, but if you’re wondering I’m sure you can look them up.

It seemed pretty chaotic and at times painful to me, but the skaters and refs seem to know what they’re doing for the most part. The picture below is a decent illustration. My cousin (on the left in black and purple) and her teammates are trying to block the girl with the star on her helmet (the jammer) from getting by.

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Sadly my cousin’s team lost, but it was still fun to watch. I don’t think I’ll be signing up to play anytime soon, but if she’s ever back in town for a bout I’ll be there to cheer!
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OKC Corporate Challenge 2013

14 Jun

Tents

A few weekends ago I participated in the OKC Corporate Challenge with some of my coworkers. It got off to a bit of a rocky start with Friday night’s events being canceled because of storms, but the weather the rest of the weekend couldn’t have been more perfect. We always wish we could get a few more people to participate, but we did manage to come in 5th place in our division and I think everyone had a good time.

GirlsBasketballOur Women’s 3 on 3 Basketball team above and Men’s 3 on 3 below. The girls are happy with their 4th place finish and the guys aren’t sure what place they finished in (I think we were expecting 5th and actually came in 4th). MensBasketball N&S

Me below in the white cap ready to swim my 50 free. I swam it in 00:00:35.44 which is a pretty good time for me.Swim

Most of our walkers after the 1 mile fun walk.Walkers

Lacrosse and a Half Marathon

9 May

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The weekend before last was full of athletics (although none done by me). Saturday I joined Nate and some of his family to watch his cousin play Lacrosse in a tournament here. I’d never seen any Lacrosse, so it was pretty interesting. From watching one game I’d say it’s similar to soccer and hockey.
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Sunday Kaylee and I got up extra early to cheer on our guys as they ran the half marathon in the annual Memorial Marathon. It was a first half marathon for both of them, and they both finished!

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